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Keywords:

  • cohabitation;
  • income pooling;
  • marriage;
  • union dissolution

This study investigates the implications for union stability of different methods for providing access to income in cohabiting and marital unions among mainland Puerto Ricans. Using the Puerto Rican Maternal and Infant Health Study (N = 836), we show that union dissolution is associated with both union type and type of method. The relatively high rate of union dissolution among cohabiters is explained partially by their lower likelihood of organizing access to income under an equality principle through income pooling. Cohabiting unions that follow the equality principle, however, are as stable as marital unions that follow the equality principle. These patterns are interpreted in terms of the role of economic equality in solidifying socioemotional bonds.